Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I shudder at the thought of the "American Dream."

Is that unpatriotic to say?
Between celebrating Independence Day last weekend, and the marathon of Little House on the Prairie episodes Jayla and I watched after her surgery, I've been thinking about this a lot recently.

*Disclaimer* Perhaps I misunderstand the "typical" American Dream.
In my mind's eye it involves something along these lines:
The meeting of Mr. or Mrs. Right.
The house(s).
The car(s).
The 2.1 kids.
The career.
The hobbies.
The vacations.
The possibility of early retirement.
The pet or 2.
The Little League games and ballet recitals.
The happiness that this life promises.
Maybe your impression is different. Mine could seem incorrect to you.

It appears to me that once all those things are attained, here we are with our "dreams" and visions of the future recognized, but the happiness we expected does not always follow. If we do receive some level of satisfaction from these things, it is fleeting, because there is always more, bigger, and better just over the horizon.

In my life the American Dream is something I feel like I need to fight against All The Time. It's ever present and it shows itself in a variety of ways. Don't buy the lie Tisha, I tell myself. This is NOT WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT. It will leave you empty and wanting, surrounded by all the "right" things.

The pursuit of this type of dream suffocates my ability to live the life I was put here to live, because it hinders my ability to serve others in a truly substantial, sizeable, noteworthy way.

It takes time, energy, thought, and drive to attain materialistic goals. As I look around, it seems like many of us are buying the lie. Take the current personal debt situation we are facing in our country today. Why on earth are we determined to buy so much? What exactly is the point of all the stuff? Is our pursuit of happiness leaving us penniless?
If I am pouring my efforts into achieving this kind of life, it's quite consuming, and it's all about me.
Yuck. This is why I shudder.

The tendency is, as our financial situations increase, our standard of living usually follows suit, making our lives more expensive rather than leaving us with more to give.
I deeply long to avoid this trap. I have shared that by God's grace, a certain level of freedom has come to me in this area. I want to move further in that direction.

If God has plans for me, plans for a future and a hope, I know they are not for my benefit alone. I know they will require sacrificial service, which doesn't fit easily into the pursuit of My Personal Dreams.
I pray today that God will make my dreams His dreams. That my life can be used by Him to further His purposes and that I can continue to free myself from the worldly desire for Easy Street with a whole lot of stuff to call my own. I pray that I will be willing to sacrifice, that I will recognize how much I have been given and that I no longer need to want for more.
I pray for a burden on my heart for others. One that is so strong it leaves no way I can turn my back and shut my eyes. I pray that when those covetous ways present themselves in my mind and I am tempted to seek acquisition for myself, I will be able to give those over to my Lord who has given me liberty that frees me to contribute generiously. I pray that the My American Dream can be a dream that makes a genuine difference in the lives of others so that I can really say "I am proud to be an American."
*Disclaimer #2* This is just my opinion. Please don't yell at me : )

2 comments:

Susan said...

Yell at you? I applaud you!

Amy© said...

Amen!

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